In an eight-page ruling, Engoron set a March 10 deadline for Trump and his children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., to sit for depositions. Lawyers for the Trumps asked the appellate court for a stay to spare them from questioning while it considers the matter.
The court did not set a date for arguments. It typically issues decisions several months after that, but could be inclined to rule on an expedited basis given the urgency of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation and the Trumps’ desire to swiftly overturn Engoron’s ruling.
A message seeking comment was left with James’ office. In a statement on Friday, as lawyers for the Trumps were preparing their appeal, the attorney general signaled she was ready for a long fight to get them to testify.
“Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump were ordered by the court to comply with our lawful investigation into Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” James said in the statement.
“While they have the right to seek a delay, they cannot deter us from following the facts and the law wherever they may lead. Make no mistake: My office will continue to pursue this case without favor or favor because no one is above the law.”
Trump did not immediately comment on the appeal. In a statement following Engoron’s decision, he called the ruling “a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in history.”
James, a Democrat, has said her investigation has uncovered evidence Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, used “fraudulent or misleading” valuations of assets like golf courses and skyscrapers to get loans and tax benefits.
At a hearing prior to Engoron’s decision, Trump’s lawyers argued that having him sit for a civil deposition is an improper attempt to get around a state law barring prosecutors from calling someone to testify before a criminal grand jury without giving them immunity.
A lawyer for the attorney general’s office told Engoron that it wasn’t unusual to have civil and criminal investigations proceeding at the same time, and Engoron rejected a request from lawyers for the Trumps to pause the civil probe until the criminal matter is over.
Last summer, spurred by evidence uncovered in James’ civil investigation, the Manhattan district attorney’s office charged Weisselberg and the Trump Organization with tax fraud, alleging he collected more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation.
Weisselberg and the company have pleaded not guilty. The future of the criminal probe was thrown into question last week when the two prosecutors leading it abruptly quit.